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Exponential

A life-changing nine-month Discipleship Journey...You have one life to live...make it count for eternity!

Gap Year program for high school graduates ages 18-24

What is a Gap Year Program?

A gap year program may be defined as, “A semester or year of experiential learning, typically taken after high school and prior to career or post-secondary education, in order to deepen one’s practical, professional, and personal awareness.” (Gap Year Association)

Exponential is Doe River Gorge’s gap year program designed to help you discover your abilities and passions while building a Biblical foundation for your faith.

This nine-month, residential learning experience combines outdoor adventure activities and training with a broad study of foundational elements of the Christian worldview.

Studies have shown that 66% of believers will stray from their faith during college. Exponential will help you be one of those who don’t!  As you learn to defend your faith, you will also develop character and leadership skills. Upon completing Exponential, you are encouraged to apply for a three-month extension as staff at Adventure Quest summer camps where you will use what you’ve learned.

“The internship allowed me to take a step back from school, from my job, from the pressures of the outside world. It grounded me in the Lord and firmly in Christ Jesus.” ~ Josh, 2016

“I don’t even know how to put to words how much of a blessing Doe River and Exponential has been to me. I have grown with my fellow interns and we’ve just become a huge family. God has really grown me and taught me a lot of things about Himself.” ~ Hailey, 2016

“The way that Jesus taught was through discipleship: living life with one another, teaching, and mentoring with multiple people – iron sharpening iron – to make them an effective weapon for Christ. In this day and age, there’s nowhere that I’ve seen, that I’ve found, that I’ve even been offered, to do discipleship like it’s done here at Doe River.” ~ Peyton, 2016

What to Expect in Exponential

Spiritual Growth

Experience spiritual growth through worship, prayer, and Bible study. Growth through the Word of God is cultivated through scripture memorization, group discussions, and daily devotions. Teaching by the Doe River Gorge staff and outside instructors will guide and challenge you in your walk with Christ. Through the teaching, ministry experiences, and personal mentoring, you will begin to discover your gifts, abilities, and passions.

Skill Development

You will develop practical skills used the rest of your life. Skills in ministry, team-building, administration, carpentry, outdoor education, working with the public, finance, and a host of other opportunities will equip you to handle needs and demands that are a part of daily life.

Personal Relationships

Living in a community of other like-minded believers, you will have the opportunity to develop valuable friendships. You will learn how to keep short accounts, forgive, and accept forgiveness. Whether you are having a conversation over coffee or strumming a guitar, you will develop friendships that will last a lifetime.

Physical and Mental Discipline

You want your life to count. The choices you make daily have eternal results. Through personal coaching, you will begin to develop disciplines to become what you want to be so that you can do what you want to do. Disciplines as simple as getting out of bed, personal devotions, Scripture memory, and being on time for appointments all have significant impact. Working with teammates, you will learn to push yourself beyond what you thought was possible.

Fun and Adventure

You will not only have the opportunity to work hard but also to play hard. You’ll be around some of the most active people of your generation and have plenty of free time to relax and enjoy life. Exponential offers a combination of fun, adventure activities, social activities, and day-to-day fellowship with others designed to foster deep, life-long friendships.

Optional College Credit

Bryan College logoDoe River Gorge Exponential is pleased to associate with Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee.  Up to 11 college credits and a $1000-per-year undergraduate scholarship may be received for completion of the Exponential program.

Note that this scholarship will be available to students who have completed Exponential even if that student did not opt for Bryan College credit when originally participating in Exponential.  In order to be eligible for this scholarship, Exponential students must apply to Bryan College within 24 months of completing Exponential.

Exponential Course

Corresponding Bryan Course

Credit Hours

Survey of the Old Testament

Old Testament Lit. & Interpretation

3 hrs

Survey of the New Testament

New Testament Lit. & Interpretation

3 hrs

Worldview & Apologetics

Critical Survey of Worldviews

3 hrs

Science and the Bible

Science Foundations

2 hrs

To be eligible, the following requirements must be met:
  • Belief in Jesus Christ as Savior
  • A desire to pursue a lifestyle consistent with Christian principles
  • Completed High School
  • Between the ages 18 and 24
  • Unmarried
  • Be in good physical health
Applicants must be able and willing to:
  • Live at Doe River Gorge in dormitory housing
  • Provide proof of medical insurance
  • Work with your team to create a menu and prepare your meals
  • Travel internationally (valid passport required)
  • Agree to the Doe River Gorge Statement of Faith.
Application Process:

  • Call 423-725-4010 for information about 2022-23 application.

Exponential Coursework 

The Exponential gap year is not college, it is not a job nor a vacation but it includes elements of all these things.  Classroom instruction is more casual and interactive, covering a sequence of topics to prepare a young person for a life serving Christ.  Training in Bible and logic teaches one how to think and evaluate information biblically.  Training in apologetics, worldview and creation science provides confidence in defending the Christian faith from any angle.  An emphasis of the DRG Exponential program is outdoor adventure and education.  The natural beauty and recreational opportunities of the camp’s 300 acres, river and surrounding mountains will contribute to a unique program of learning, physical challenges and spiritual growth

Course Descriptions

Search for Significance

Learn how to be free to enjoy Christ’s love while no longer basing your self-worth on your accomplishments or the opinions of others. You are Deeply Loved, Completely Forgiven, Fully Pleasing, Totally Accepted, & Complete…In Christ!

Authority of Scripture

This section is intended to give confidence in the Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Subjects include: How and why was the biblical canon set in the early church? How confident are we that we have what the original writers wrote? What historical and archeological evidence is there that the recorded events actually happened?

Introductory Logic

Logic is the study of the principles of correct reasoning. To be logical is to think rightly, and to draw reasonable conclusions from the available information. Why does logic matter, and who decides what is the “right” way to think? If two people disagree on whether something is reasonable, who is correct? What is the standard by which we judge a particular line of reasoning to be correct or incorrect? In the Christian worldview, we can answer these questions because we know that God determines the correct way to reason. He is the standard for all truth claims. In this class you will learn about logic and the Christian worldview, the Biblical basis for the laws of logic, if faith is contrary to reason, informal logical fallacies, and more.

Survey of the Old Testament

The first semester course is an exploration of the Old Testament and its central themes, particularly in relation to God’s relationship of covenant making with his people. God is king over all creation who has created humanity to have a relationship with him and to extend his reign throughout the entire earth. By entering into covenants, God makes promises to his people and calls them to be faithful to him. Since God has created humankind in his image for fellowship with him, there is consistent reference to the terms of that relationship. God is presented as holy, loving, and sovereign, while people are presented as responsible for loving God, loving their neighbor, and caring for all that God has created.

Worldview and Apologetics

Worldview and Apologetics combines uncovering the nuts and bolts of competing worldviews and world religions with practical instruction in defending the Christian worldview. A primary theme in the study is the uniqueness of the Christian worldview in providing explanation of the human condition and the reality of hope for meaning through life in Christ. The course will highlight the inconsistencies inherent in all non-Christian worldviews while emphasizing the completeness and consistency of Biblical Christianity. Further, application will be made in apologetics by teaching the student to effectively communicate the gospel to the unbeliever.

Science and the Bible

The lessons in the Science and the Bible curriculum are chosen to enable Christian young people to defend their faith and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. The focus is on providing answers to questions surrounding the book of Genesis, as it is the most-attacked book of the Bible. What we believe about origins has consequences. Genesis is relevant to culture, faith, and the whole story of redemption–it is true from the very first verse. The evidence of nature and the proper application of historical and experimental science fully support the straightforward reading of Genesis. In the area of geology and paleontology, the evidence of sedimentary rock layers and fossils provide clear evidence of the Biblical Flood and disprove evolution. Teaching will also include lessons on astronomy, biology, origin of life, dinosaurs, The Ark, molecular biology, anatomy, genetics, radiometric dating and archeology. A field trip to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in Kentucky is also planned.

Survey of the New Testament

This second semester is an exploration of the New Testament, with an emphasis on the establishment of the new covenant through Jesus Christ. Jesus, fully God, became a human being and came in fulfillment prophecy to reign over His kingdom, to bring the good news of salvation, and to establish His church. Emphasis will be placed on the benefits of and life in the new covenant, and how it serves to fulfill and extend the old covenant.

Life Vision

Introduce and explore the areas needed for young adults to understand and evaluate how God created each of them. in this class, we will discover each studets inate passions as well as compassionately seeing the broken world around them. This class includes an in depth study of Ephesians 4 and Paul’s understanding of the unique call on the life of the believer.

Outdoor Education

The objective for the Outdoor Education class series will be for students to learn topics ranging from survival skills to animal husbandry. The students will then be given targeted opportunities to put these skills into practical use. In the survival skills section, students will put their skills to the test in multiple outdoor adventures. Then they will learn how to teach these skills to other students that come through the Outdoor Education program. Next, in the environmental studies section, students will learn to teach classes on the many amazing things that God created such as Decomposition and Ecosystems. Finally, the students will have the opportunity to work with live exotic animals that are used in DRG’s Talk with Animals class.